60 seconds with…Youssef Rouabeh, Director of International Operation | Saudi Arabia - Synergy Restaurant Consultants

How was the re-opening of your business and how was it carried out in line with safety procedures put in place to allow social distancing? 

We had to recruit new employees to reopen the restaurant. We removed a few tables and seats to meet the safety distances. We provided hand sanitizers and disposable masks at the entrance and in some key locations. We drew steps on the floor where there could be a possible queuing (At the host area, at the bathroom entrances). We ensured that the plates, silverware and glassware are well cleaned. 

How is the general feeling and feedback from your team members and your customers now the lockdown is over? 

People miss the “old days”; some employees are not comfortable using the masks during the whole shifts but they are getting used to that

What role has technology played in supporting your re-opening plan? 

We use QR codes for menus and contactless credits cards for payments. Administrative work is becoming digital with less printing of papers and documents 

What market trends are you seeing since re-opening? 

Not clear yet but it seems that there are more demands in opening fast casual places and coffee shops (Shawarma and burger places are still on the top of chart)

What techniques have you used to build sales and re-engage customers? 

Social media boosting ads and local “influencers”

What positive lessons do we need to learn from what the industry has been through? 

We said once we will get through this. Now we are getting through this. One day will come and we will look back and say: we've been through this. In order for that day to come, we need to maintain the rules that will help us survive and help the others in need.

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Date Published: 29th October 2020